Posts Tagged ‘critical thinking’

Agenda-Driven Science to Justify Fixed Policy Preferences

May 2, 2024 — On the subject of nutrition and health, we commonly encounter strong statements presented as scientific truths that must be honored. Headlines scream that “ultra-processed food is killing us,” using studies of correlation to justify sounding an alarm. “Cows are just an environmental disaster,” says Hannah Ritchie in the New York Times. But with equally great […]

Looking Beyond Diet and Exercise in Diabetes and Obesity

April 3, 2024 — We’re stuck. This assessment sums up frustration with efforts to reduce the harm of obesity and diabetes in public health. For many decades we have remained fixated on a paradigm that tells us obesity and diabetes are rising because our patterns of diet and exercise are all wrong. Writing in the Guardian, Amy McLennan tells […]

Atlantic Diet Study: Benefits from More Than Just a Diet

February 22, 2024 — “Is the Atlantic diet the new Mediterranean miracle?” This headline (and a host of others like it) says a lot about the ultra-processing of nutrition research by consumer media. It takes a fascinating study about the health effects of a traditional pattern for eating called the Atlantic diet and removes all the nuance. The product […]

Ultra-Processed Foods: Facts, Fiction, and Speculation

February 5, 2024 — The perils of ultra-processed foods received widespread coverage in recent months – thanks in no small part to the publication and promotion of TV presenter and doctor of virology Chris Van Tulleken’s book Ultra-Processed People. Ultra-processed foods, in short, are commercially manufactured food products that include ingredients you wouldn’t cook with at home. Some of this […]

How’s That Microbiome Working for You in Obesity?

September 5, 2023 — When an idea captures the imagination, it can become something like an ink stain. Tough to alter. One such idea that captured our imagination is the idea that gut microbiota might be a causal factor in obesity. But a new review in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B suggests rethinking this idea. Matthew Dalby […]

Reporting Inflated Costs for Obesity Meds

June 2, 2023 — Reporters are writing a lot about the unaffordable cost of new obesity medicines like semaglutide. They’re doing a lot of really solid reporting. But unfortunately, they are also pushing out a false narrative and just about everyone else is coming along for the ride. Time and time again we see journalists reporting inflated costs for […]

Comfortable Opinions, Uncomfortable Thinking

February 19, 2023 — Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy warned the graduating class at Yale that too often “We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” Public discourse on the subject of obesity right now is certainly bringing that thought into vivid view. Over and over again, we hear supposed experts expressing their comfortable […]

Will Plant-Based Meats Save the Planet and Our Health?

May 31, 2022 — Hope springs eternal. Hype sells better than mere facts. Imagined benefits are better than objective documentation. Thus, plant-based ultra-processed foods that simulate the experience of eating meat are still enjoying a health and environmental halo. But will these plant-based meats actually help to save the planet and our health? The Big Plant-Based Health Halo In […]

Drawing a Line Between Critical Thinking and Behavior

January 16, 2022 — Critical thinking is vital for progress. It really doesn’t matter whether the goal is overcoming obesity, COVID, or economic hardship. Rigorous, objective analysis allows us to recognize the truth of the situation we’re dealing with and then find solutions. But that’s not the end of the story, because the behavior that flows from critical thinking […]

Do Retractions Shake the Cult of Vitamin D?

March 9, 2021 — We are learning in so many ways that it’s hard to shake a cult. It might be a cult of personality or a cult around a theory. Right now, one that seems unshakable is the cult of vitamin D. With a frequency that seems daily, we see new studies proclaiming that vitamin D levels predict […]